An Insured by Any Other Name QUICK ENQUIRY

By Scott C. Chimuk and Jodi Neuman (summer student)

Conradi v Economical Mutual Insurance Company, 2015 ABQB 308 and Burch v Intact Insurance Company, 2015 ABCA 229 both deal with the resolution of ambiguities in insurance contracts.  In Conradi the court resolved the ambiguity against the insurer because the policy was inconsistent in its use of defined terms whereas in Burch the court resolved the ambiguity in favour of the insurer when it restrictively construed “necessary operations” of a farm to exclude horse riding training.  Caution needs to be taken when drafting policies to ensure internal consistency as any inconsistency will be construed against the insurer.  That being said, to the extent policies are internally consistent, courts will be hesitant to unduly expand the scope of the policy beyond its plain language meaning.

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